Behind Enemy Lines pt. 4.

Submitted by Goblue49120 on July 18th, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Fall practice preview..

First (for some it is old news but..) Notre Dame going into fall practice is down two players. Of the two, Darrin Walls is the most noteworthy. He was a blue chip CB that was recruited by ND, Michgian, PSU, and Pitt. Rumors around South Bend is because of classroom related problems. I cannot believe it is grades because it seems Notre Dame's football players all graduate, win the Nobel Prize, and go from a high school 2.5 gpa to a "top univeristy" MD in business with honors.

What does this mean for Michigan? Considering the passing game will be the most unkown quantity of the offense this year, it could only help that one of the better ND secondary is at home for this game.

What else is new for ND this year.

In the offseason, the biggest splash was the hiring of Jon Tenuta as assistant head coach and linebacker coach. I believe it will be a stepping stone to the Defensive Coordinator postition as well. If the defense improves, I think Corwin Brown is pushed out or demoted. If the defense does not improve, I think Corwin Brown is pushed out or demoted. My opinion only here, but why hire a guy who is the "most awesomest DC" not to be the "most awesomest DC" of a good program. I remember Notre Dame hiring the last decent DC to beat them and groom him for head coach. You remeber Bob Davis don't you? Is history about to repeat itself?

Emu and the Gang.

By Imperial edict, Jimmy Clausen is the second comming, only better. He is fully recovered from last year's pre-season elbow surgery that wasn't supposed to be a problem or cause him to lose any of his awesomeness. One 3-9 season and whoops!!!! The savior was only playing at 5% of his full potential. Only the Son of God could have done so good given the conditions. Gotta love the sliding scale used by Charlie.

  • "No, it won't be a problem."
  • Doh! "Yea, it was a huge problem, we never said otherwise."

Last year we saw ND quaterbacks not named JC heading out of town. Evan Sharpley, a MLB prospect and not a NFL one, was the only one to stay. He was the most senior member of the QB club and played in a few games. Now, ND has a good incoming QB in Dayne Crist. I will go on record here and saying I think Charlie has him penciled in at the #2 postition and will give him the reps to be so. Charile is all about the QB and his percieved mojo as a QB guy. Evan Sharpley is a dead end since this is his last year. Crist is probably just as good on paper as Jimmy C, but may have more upside due to his size and strength.

Can I get a running back for $100 Alex?

Despite decent recruiting in the backfield, Charlie has yet to figure out what to do with these guys. James Aldridge is their version of Kevin Grady minus the booze. In other words, a highly ranked recruit yet to prove themselves. Neither one is presumed to be top of their prospective depth charts. I could go on to review the other members of the backfield, but unless Charlie changes his M.O., they are mere pawns in his quest for QB domination.

Why so many defections?

In the past, there have been quite a few players deciding to transfer, despite it not being the coach's first year. It may seem higher than normal, but most programs see players leave for various reasons. Why may it seem more likely at Notre Dame is, I believe, the promises of playing time. Combine that with the pressure of playing the "hot new recruit" may drive players that feel forgoten to look elsewhere. I think that is something that may not be unique to Notre Dame, but they are a product of their own hype.



July 21st, 2008 at 12:25 PM ^

Aside from recruiting hype (much of which I didn’t understand about Clausen due to his age and level of competition), I have yet to see the reasons behind the belief that Clausen will be any good. The most impressive thing I saw from him last season was his discipline in not demonstrably getting frustrated—helmet slamming, yelling at his offensive lineman etc. Otherwise, I saw more good things from, say, Ryan Mallett (and plenty of horrible things from the Ryan also.) When Clausen’s stats looked decent it was because he was throwing high percentage, safe passes, with a shit yards per attempt and he never really tried to do anything (so much babying is an indication of Weis’ lack of confidence.) The much sited ‘improvement’ at the end of the season could have been predicted at the start of the season. ND played some terrible teams and looked better. That was it. Take the first 2 games of Michigan’s 2000 season. Henson was hurt. Navarre started and was money. Imagine, Michigan destroying the cupcakes with a freshman backup! Hell, recently Michigan hasn’t destroyed much of anyone (besides ND!) While the comparison is completely unfair, you can say Navarre looked awesome (and Clausen never even looked good) until UCLA (good competition) when it was clear Navarre sucked. He would continue to suck for much of 2001 and 2002. My point is, Clausen’s improvement will most likely evaporate during the meat of the schedule and magically reappear against the hideous teams. I see no evidence that he ‘gets it’ yet or can/will throw passes that scare anyone. Golly gee, I relish the return of the cupcake blowout. I have had enough of wracking my brain trying to figure out why it looks like the offensive coordinator doesn’t actually want to score.


July 21st, 2008 at 1:32 PM ^

The Brown-Tenuta relationship is going to be interesting. And by interesting, I mean, "Those two are probably going to be at each other's throats by season's end." (Think Terry Malone-Mike DeBord, 2005.)

Poor Corwin.  The guy left an NFL position coach spot to become DC at ND (a school he presumably despised) and has recruited extremely well and turned in a not-that-bad performance as DC  (their D was hung out to dry a lot by the offense last year), and still he's being nudged out.  I can't imagine he'd be satisfied with a demotion to position coach when he could get the same in the pros.